Spreading Christmas cheer- teacher edition


Ms. Shaw

Above, is Ms. Shaw’s ambitious attempt at her first ever Gingerbread house. It is Pittsburgh themed, one of her and the other teachers’ favorite spots for Christmas festivities.

Full of holly and certainly jolly, Christmas is always a claus for celebration. With the month of December speeding by, it is important to take a break to enjoy the season’s festivities and indulge in the magical spirit that never gets old. Mr. Majoris, Ms. Shaw and Señora Harrington share what festivities mean the most to them.

A Pittsburgh staple, the Christmas Market illuminates Market Square and is one of Majoris’s, Shaw’s, and Harrington’s favorite Christmas activities. Here, visitors can weave through wooden vendor shops brimming with high-quality gifts and holiday experiences. Each stop is uniquely filled with international flair and local charm. Check it out Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m., Friday or Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It is no surprise that Market Square is such a popular destination; an adventure is around every corner. A short walk away, the PPG Place skating rink is a cheery circle of Christmas. The tree is decorated with only the most dazzling decorations and a beaming star to top it off. Music brings joy to the ears and hearts of the skaters and observers. Even better, ticketing this year can be done online and pre-paid to guarantee a date and time slot and to avoid long lines! Tickets also may be purchased by walk-up. Skate right into Christmas Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – midnight. 

Christmas is so special because even though it is a celebration of the same faith, it is celebrated as a time truly unique to each person and family.

Though all three teachers mentioned visiting the Christmas market, Majoris added that his family always finds a new spot for dinner afterwards. Every year, his family also looks forward to the exquisite gingerbread houses and Santa figures from different countries of the world found at the City-County Building and PPG Place. 

Majoris described Christmas time as “a time to enjoy simple pleasures and as a wonderful time to reconnect with and cherish family and friends,” and spending time at the Market and having dinner is the perfect way to do so. Mrs. Majoris is a pierogi-pro and looks forward to making Christmas pierogies with the family every year. His family especially likes to appreciate the neighborhood Christmas light displays and looks forward to seeing certain houses every year. They also enjoy Christmas caroling with friends. Of course, they pay a visit to see Santa. Henry Clay is second to Santa on his favorite people list during the month of December 😉 

Majoris has always wanted to rent a cabin in Seven Springs during the holiday season to live out his White 

Christmas dreams; perhaps he will find a reservation wrapped up with a red bow next Christmas.

Shaw is another fan of Christmas light shows. She excitedly anticipates the lighting of the old Horne’s Christmas tree. Since 1953, the lighting of the Horne’s tree has signified the beginning of the holiday season in Pittsburgh. The tree goes up on the corner of the old Joseph Horne’s Department store building at Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street. 

Most of all, she loves to visit the notable Phipps Conservatory. It features new displays of holiday trees, topiaries, exquisitely detailed props, signature floral delights and more than 1,600 poinsettias. Not to mention, the return of the celebrated Winter Light Garden, filling the Outdoor and Discovery Gardens with luminous orbs, trees, fountains, a tunnel of lights and an all-new ice castle display. She also enjoys participating in the Salvation Army’s angel tree gift drive that supports our local community. 

One memory she holds dear every year is hosting Christmas events in her home, watching White Christmas,  and baking cookies. This year, for the first time ever, she built a gingerbread house!

Harrington finds the excitement in her children’s hearts and remembering her own fond memories of Christmas to be the most special part of Christmas festivities. Her family’s elf never fails to surprise them in the morning after reporting back to Santa. Harrington is kind to the elf, contrary to Mr. Phillips, who believes that the elves are little snitches. Phillips must be bitter about being on the naughty list. 

Harrington’s family has a unique set of festivities that they take part in aside from the Pittsburgh classics. Her family was thrilled to ride with Vortex Helicopters in Finleyville, Pa, in which they got to ride with the Grinch himself. Finleyville, Whoville, what’s the difference? Another special adventure, her family took a trip to Geary Farms to see Santa and feed the reindeer, along with other entertaining crafts and activities available. Just like Majoris and Shaw, Harrington is a fan of lights! One of her recommendations is Clinton Park, a light-spectacular, and Phipps as they are good choices for all ages. Harrington looks forward to a family tradition of the-Sunday-before-Christmas brunch and taking over the tradition of baking cookies for the family. She aspires to become a pro-gullet cookie baker. Gullets are French-Belgian waffle cookies and Harrigton’s recipe is a family staple. 

It is evident that Majoris, Shaw, and Harrington “LOVE CHRISTMAS” as Majoris stated. The magical spirit of Christmas still lights up their hearts and they celebrate joyously. 

This Christmas, let us all learn to cherish the moments that mean the most, be kind, festive and cheerful! Go out and make some santa-mental memories, however that may be!